Canon Sure Shot A-1

The Canon Sure Shot A1 is a 35mm film underwater point-and-shoot film camera that was released in the early 1990s. It is a fully automatic camera featuring a 32mm f/3.5 lens. There is a flash and an underwater focusing mode.

It was sold as the Autoboy D5 in Japan and Prima AS-1 in Europe.

There are two versions. One is just the Sure Shot A-1. The other model has panorama and date functions.

The non panaramic date version

The camera is waterproof down to 5m. For that to be the case, it is important that the gaskets around the battery compartment door and film back are clean and undamaged.

Price and Where to Buy

The Sure Shot A-1 was a popular camera and used copies are easy to find on eBay and Amazon.

They can be found in good condition for less than $150.

Make sure that the film door latch is not damaged. The plastic hooks that hold the film door shut tend to break. Also make sure the film door gasket is clean and in good condition. If you see sand, stay away from the camera.


The bottom of the camera and battery compartment

The A-1 Uses a single 3V CR123A battery. It is good to have a backup on hand for the camera. You can easily find CR123A batteries online.

Date Back

The gasket is dirty with sand, so it is likely to fail

The date back requires a CR2032 battery in order to operate. The battery door is on the inside of the film door. A screw needs to be removed to get access to the battery.

Film to Use

The Sure Shot A1 uses 35mm film. Cannisters should have DX encoding on them so the camera can set the correct ISO.

Here is my suggested film to use with the camera:

Black & White


Sample Images

The sample images can be seen on the page dedicated to Fujifilm Superia 400. The photos were taken in Market Meadows, a strip mall that was due to be torn down. All of the businesses had moved out long ago.


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The camera came with a red carrying case that had a shoulder strap. It had a zipper and velcro tab that was use to secure the camea. There was a belt loop on the back.


Take from the Canon A-1 page at the Canon Camera Museum.

Feature Specification
Type Fully automatic 35mm Lens-Shutter, AF waterproof (down to 5 m) camera
Picture Size 24×36 mm, panorama (13x36mm) enabled
Focusing Above water: 3-point Smart Autofocus with near-infrared beam. Prefocus enabled.
Underwater: None. Fixed focus (Macro: 0.45 m – 1 m)
Lens 32mm f/3.5 (6 elements in 6 groups)
Shutter Electromagnetic programmed shutter and aperture.
In auto mode and flash-on mode: EV 9.5 (f/3.5 at 1/60 sec.) – EV 17 (f/22 at 1/250 sec.).
In flash-off mode: EV 3 (f/3.5 at 2 sec.) – EV 17 (f/22 at 1/250 sec.).
Built-in electronic self-timer.
Viewfinder Albada reversed Galilean viewfinder.
0.42x magnification and 84% coverage.
33mm eye relief.
Within the image area are the AF frame, close-up frame, panorama frame, green OK-to-Shoot LED (lights when focus is achieved; blinks for close-up warning, camera-shake warning, and red-eye reduction lamp ON; and turns off during flash recycling).
EE a-Si cell for full-auto program EE.
Metering range of EV 3 – 17.
Film speed range: ISO 25 – 3200 (with DX code).
Built-in Flash Fixed, built-in flash.
Guide No. 7.5 (at ISO 100 in meters).
Fires automatically in low-light and backlit conditions.
Red-eye reduction lamp provided.
Autodate Feature Year, month, day (variable order) imprinted with 7-segment transparent LCD.
Power Source One 3 V CR123A lithium batteries
Film Loading & Advance After opening camera back, align film leader at mark, then close the camera back for auto loading.
Auto film advance with built-in motor.
Film advance speed: 1 fps.
Frame Counter Counts up during film advance.
Counts down during film rewind.
Film Rewind Automatic with built-in motor.
No midroll rewind.
Dimensions & Weight 133 x 88 x 56 mm, 385 g (with battery)